Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 32, where we take a nostalgic look at six comic books I currently own, and one that I let get away.
For each of the comic books below, I list the current secondary market value. This is according to the listings at the website www.comicbookrealm.com. They list out the near mint prices, which are on the comic book grading scale of 9.4. If you go to the website to look up any in your collection, you can click on the price and see the value at different grades. Not all of my comics are 9.4. Some are probably better, and some are worse. But to simplify it, that’s the grading price I use here. And remember, a comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Have you considered being a guest host for Cool Comics? You can do a theme or just pick any of your comics for inclusion (this blog is for all ages, so please keep that in mind), as long as there are seven comics in your episode (you can still own all seven, or do it like me and include one you no longer own). Send your completed blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or comments, please scroll to the bottom of the page to where it says, “Leave a reply.” I hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I do writing about them. And now, Episode 32…
Cool comics in my collection #204: All-American Men of War #102, March-April 1964.
“BLIND EAGLE–HUNGRY HAWK!” Military and War comics are something I never paid attention to during my earlier three periods of comic book collecting. I owned three issues of Fightin’ Marines that my mother got me in one of those Charlton comic packs, and I actually bought myself a copy Blitzkrieg when I was a kid (which is seen later in this week’s blog). During a trip earlier this year to my local comic shop, Kenmore Komics, in Akron, Ohio. I decided I’d do a theme week on comics that focus on the men and women who’ve served in our armed forces. I bought this issue for $4. This DC comic features a Joe Kubert cover, which certainly caught my eye, and tells the story of a Navajo fighter pilot and a prophecy that could be the end of him! The story entertains, and I absolutely love the old ads in this issue. Back in 1964 you could send in for a 100-piece D-Day plastic set of solders for just $1.50. But my favorite ad is for Aurora monster models, on the back cover. I still have most of mine to this day! The cover price of All-American Men of War is 12 cents, while the current value is $90.
Cool comics in my collection #205: Battlefield Action #53, June 1964.
“RUN, CHICKEN, RUN!” This 1964 comic book from Charlton gives us four stories of combat, showing us bravery in action, but perhaps more poignantly asks the question, “What makes a man break and run under fire?” No one wants to think this would happen to them, but it did and does happen. Our military personnel train long, hard hours, but things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes the fear is too great. The title story was good, as were the other three. This is a comic I would like to buy more issues of to add to my Military comic collection. This comic gives us heroic stories, much like the military heroes I’d create with my old Marx Army figures. My grandfather worked for a while at a Marx Toy factory, and he gave me lots of those old green Army men. I’d set up battle scenes and act them out with the toy soldiers, often burying the dead in the back and side yards of our house, I had so many of them. Years later, my father would sometimes dig some of them up while working in his yard! Again, I bought this at Kenmore Komics, for just $2. The cover price of Battlefield Action #53 is 12 cents, while the current value is $28.
Cool comics in my collection #206: Battle Stories #18, 1964.
“THE JET FROM NOWHERE!” and “HIT THE SILK!” and “A HERO’S MISTAKE!” all in one action packed fantastic issue, coming straight to you from Super Comics. Super Comics? Originally they were I.W. Publications, but later put out their titles under Super Comics, which sound a little more exciting, but not enough to stick around as long as D.C. and Marvel. It’s hard to find the exact publication dates for the Battle Stories series. It began in 1963, and this issue came out in 1964. They are reprints from an even more obscure comic company, Superior Publishers Limited, from Canada, from a comic book titled U.S. Fighting Air Force, in the 1950s. The stories were pretty good, focusing on the bravery of American fighting men, and sometimes having to overcome their fears. I picked this up at Kenmore Komics for $2. The cover price of Battle Stories #18 is 12 cents, while the current value is $16.
Cool comics in my collection #207: Boy Commandos #1, October 1973.
Boy Commandos is yet another reprint, bringing us a story from Detective Comics #66 (from August 1942 and valued at $10,000) and Boy Commandos #1 (published Winter 1942-43, and valued at $7,000). So rather than spend $17,000 on these two stories contained in this issue, I instead forked out $2 at Kenmore Komics for the reprints. Boy Commandos comes to us by the same creative team that introduced Captain America to the world, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. I’d never read any of their exploits before, and even though it’s a war time comic, it doesn’t have the same feel as the others I read for this special week. Magic and mysticism are in these pages, and when it comes to that, I’d rather be reading Doctor Strange. But still, this represents a piece of history in comic books, and I’m glad that I read it. The cover price of Boy Commandos #1 is 20 cents, while the current value is $15.
Cool comics in my collection #208: Fightin’ Air Force #41, November 1963.
“RETURN TO STALAG 9” is one of four stories featured in this issue of Fightin’ Air Force. After reading a variety of Military/War comics for this week, I must say that Charlton Comics does a good job of producing exciting stories for this genre. I love the “Fightin’” line, covering the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. I still have yet to read a Fightin’ Navy comic, so I’ll have to pick one up the next time I cover Military comics again. It was definitely a different world we lived in when all of these comics came out, from the early to late stages of our involvement in Vietnam. I don’t know if anyone produces these kinds of comics anymore. When I was younger Sgt. Rock was big, and there were tales of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos. But there is something about these comics from the sixties and the way they try to capture the humanity of the fighting men who found themselves on the battlefield. I bought this at Kenmore Komics for $3. The cover price of Fightin’ Air Force is 12 cents, while the current value is $24.
Cool comics in my collection #209: Garrison’s Gorillas #1, January 1968.
“A RAT PACK OF UNDERCOVER COMMANDOES SPREAD HAVOC AND DESTRUCTION BEHIND ENEMY LINES!” This comic was based on a TV series of the same name, though I’d never heard of it. I showed it to a friend a couple weeks ago, and he’d watched it! I initially bought it for my Military/War comics week because the picture cover features Ron Harper front and center. Who is Ron Harper, you may be asking? He just happened to be one of the astronauts from the short-lived but awesome Planet of the Apes TV series from 1974. So there was no way I wasn’t going to buy this! Plus, it was only $3.50 at Kenmore Komics in Akron, Ohio. Turns out that Garrison’s Gorillas are convicts that are trained to be commandos behind Nazi lines during World War II, in exchange for their eventual freedom. The show was inspired by The Dirty Dozen. The title lasted just five issues, so I’ll see if I can complete this short run. The cover price of Garrison’s Gorillas #1 is 12 cents, while the current value is $65.
Cool comics in my collection #210 (One That Got Away): Blitzkrieg #3, May 1976.
“THE EXECUTION!” and “THIS IS THE FACE OF THE ENEMY!” I don’t remember anything beyond the cover to this issue. I bought it directly off the newsstand at Slicks in Martins Ferry, Ohio. And I’m not sure why I bought it, since I typically didn’t read Military or War comics. I’ve always liked history, and perhaps that was why. Also, sometime back then, I remember there was a show on TV about World War II, so that could have been an influence. Or maybe I was just looking for something different to read at the time. Obviously it didn’t rate keeping when I culled over half of my collection, and now that I’m starting a line of War Comics, I wish it was still in my arsenal. The cover price of Blitzkrieg #3 is 30 cents, and the current value is $32.